News Round Up, Tuesday, June 11, 2013

AP Editor: Do Not Describe Edward Snowden As A ‘Whistleblower’

I call bullshit! The claim is that you shouldn’t call someone a whistleblower when the activities they’ve leaked may not be illegal and are “hotly contested” as such. I’d have to say, taking a look at both Manning’s and Snowden’s leaked documents, there’s nothing contested about the wrongness of the activities they felt needed to be made public. Legality might be on the side of the government, but indignation is on the side of everyone else. Only someone in denial would claim there’s nothing to see here…

We are shocked, shocked…

A friend of mine worked in the security sector before, and she shared this blog as an explanation of how things really work. So, being a good sport, I read it. However… I’m still against the whole thing. *I* didn’t sign up for this, nor did *I* sign up for the war on terror or drugs or any other BS excuse for eroding people’s privacy. And my issue with a database of all calls is that eventually, I believe local law enforcement will want access too. Why not? After all, if I’ve been arrested for a protest at a local park, I’m obviously an aggitator; why not look at my call history and dig up dirt before I go to court? Let’s take a look at the kinds of people (damn hippies) that I talk to regularly.

I’m not okay with a database, even if you think it will prevent terrorism. Looking back now, I remember having no issue with DNA databases. In comparison, I think I have a bigger issue with my personal choices (i.e. calls, texts, etc.) than my born status (DNA) being available; after all, my DNA doesn’t tell you about my blog, my political views, or my spirituality.

Did I mention I’m tired of this topic? Ugh…

Melissa McCarthy’s Skinny Makeover for ‘The Heat’ Poster Stirs Controversy

This is ridiculous! First of all, the photo-shopping done to McCarthy is horribly bad. Secondly, she’s playing a husky female specifically to be the “opposite” of her skinny partner, so thinning her out makes no sense. And lastly, since when are shrunken heads normal? Look at her body (legs, arms, mid-section) and then look at the relative size of her head and neck. Not even close!

Anti-Nazis Come to Washington: The American Response to Resurgent Nazism

You know, I sometimes hate that free speech allows for the existence of the KKK and Nazis (as long as they’re non-violent). I accept it as part of the trade-off for everyone else’s freedom, but I don’t have to accept them. I was actually very annoyed yesterday while surfing blogs under the keyword “paganism”. A random blog was on the list, one complaining about the Marxists and socialists who blame the poor Nazis for imagined hate crimes, which of course are all just propoganda against the good ol’ Nazi people. The blurb didn’t explain why the blog was marked under “paganism”, and I refused to give them a view just to find out what connection there was. Overall, I was disgusted to see them in my corner of the blogsphere.

Papua New Guinea Witch Hunts May Be Fueled By Economic Jealousy, Widening Wealth Gap

So sad! As a witch, I find it terrifying that people still kill for witchcraft. I’m glad it’s not my country, but I’m sorry that it’s happening anywhere. The additional fact that it may be not superstition but jealousy that fuels these killings… that’s even more depressing.

‘Troll The NSA’ Hopes To Get Lots Of People To Send Keyword-Filled Email At The Same Time

Oh, internet! You make me snicker when I’m being moody. Read this troll email that the men from Buzzfeed have concocted to mess with the NSA’s survellience systems.

Microsoft Confirms Gamers Worst Fears About Xbox One While Still Managing To Confuse Everyone

In case you care, Microsoft clarified some of the lame issues people had with their new Xbox One (and by clarified, I mean confirmed). Our household won’t be buying an Xbox One, so the ball is in Sony’s court. If the PS4 isn’t lame, it wins a seat by our TV. If it is, we’ll get by on the current consoles we own.

There Was An Awkward, Rape-Insinuating Joke At This Official Xbox One Event

Yeah… so “gaming banter” often includes jokes on raping or murdering your opponent. It’s just a part of how men (and boys) interact in the often-violent gaming world. The issue people have with this instance is the fact the other player was a female who had the casual rape joke tossed her way. I’m more annoyed at the reinforcement of that behavior of “banter” as well as the idea of females being bad gamers… but as she said, she didn’t get practice the way her opponent did with the game. Main point? Remember where you’re at when you “banter” with another gamer in public, because your words might haunt you.

Unauthorized GM Wheat Exposes The Insanity of Open-Air Field Trials

It is a bit disconcerting to find the GM wheat randomly growing in a field somewhere. Added to that, there’s evidence of another GM plant (canola) cross-breeding with wild relatives and other strains of resistance to create super weeds on the roadside. Perhaps Monsanto needs to use closed greenhouses and other agricultural tech to ensure their now-and-future tests don’t lead to plants escaping into the wild. We have the tech for tests to be done completely sealed from the environment; it’d be more expensive, but if Monsanto stopped lobbying Congress for one or two days… I’m sure they’d save up enough money to use the tech.

Feds drop ‘morning-after pill’ appeal

Know when you’ve lost. Science says that female bodies of any age can handle Plan B. Science says that allowing over-the-counter access is acceptably safe. Science doesn’t care about the morals of your religion prohibiting abortion, or the social norms that allow you to pretend teenagers aren’t having sex and getting pregnant by accident all over the country. Science is.

Besides, I like the idea that a girl too ashamed to ask her parents for help after not using a condom or after a rape can seek out a medicine to prevent herself from becoming pregnant. I like the idea that anyone she trusted, even another teenage friend, could go buy her the pill if she were too ashamed to do so herself. And as a non-abortive (i.e. it’s not about abortion, but about preventing implantation), the pill can prevent abortions and unwanted pregnancies without bending the morals taught to a female, should she choose to stay within those bounds.

Tumblr Has a Creepshots Problem

Even though Yahoo! claims it’ll leave Tumblr alone and allow porn, etc. I have a feeling that we’ll see big changes. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the big changes will also include removing creeps? We shall see…

SoftBank sweetens offer for Sprint Nextel shareholders

Hey, I didn’t know Sprint was for sale! This is interesting, hearing about an international firm wanting to buy out the majority of the company that runs my cell phone. I haven’t heard a word about this in American news, but we’ve been pretty focused on political drama.

Russian Duma passes law banning ‘gay propaganda’

I know this article is focused on the anti-gay law, but did nobody notice the other law? “The lower house also passed a bill imposing up to three years in jail on those who offend religious believers.” I’d think that this law is more terrifying, as “offensiveness” is defined by subjective opinion rather than fact, and the law could be used to silence anyone who is even slightly viewed as judging a religiously-affiliated person. Did I ever mention how happy I am to live in America, warts and all?

Europe alarmed by US surveillance

LOL, okay, one last comment on this whole fiasco. I snickered at this article, where Europeans want assurance that they aren’t also being monitored. Well, tough! The reality is that anyone who [a] goes through a US server, [b] uses a US provider of any tech, or [c] contacts and interacts with an American citizen are ALL being watched. So… yeah. Sorry!

Twitter vs Female Protagonists in Video Games

I’m actually not on Feminist Frequency’s side here, and here’s why. Anita (the creator and host) has long since been a target online; she pissed off a community of admittedly-stupid males and is regularly chased around the internet. That said, I’m sure most of the Twitter followers she has are actually anti-femfreq people. They followed her specifically to post crap at her everytime she posts something feminist. That said, she can’t really claim that Twitter is against female protagonists in video games; really, they’re just against her. If someone else had commented on there being no females, it wouldn’t have been treated as a “shut up, you cunt” situation.

In other words, a lesbian can’t march into the Westboro Baptist Church, get insults yelled at herself, and then talk about how all Christians are so anti-gay. They’re not, nor is Twitter against female protagonists.

Random thought of the day: I’m almost tired of news blogging. Part of me hates reading the news every day (other than the fact it passes the time). I don’t enjoy reading about politics, violence, or the other fucked up parts of our planet. But… I like being informed. Can’t have one without the other, unfortunately.

Random question of the day: Which next gen console will you buy? Do you care?


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